NFL DRAFT

Five for the 2019 Draft: CBs – Early, middle and late prospects that fit Patriots; surprise pick coming?

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(Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

As we count down to the 2019 NFL draft, we’ll take the measure of the Patriots by position at this stage on the calendar, and offer up five prospects at each spot — two if they’re inclined to invest in the early going, and three more if they’re interested in waiting until later in the draft. We’ve looked at running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, edge defenders, and quarterbacks. Now, it’s cornerbacks. (Just a heads up -- when you click play on the highlights, you might want to have your sound down or headphones at the ready.)

THE SKINNY

We’ve gone back and forth when it comes to perceived positions of need this spring, and on the surface, cornerback doesn’t appear to be a priority for the Patriots. Stephon Gilmore is coming off an All-Pro year, J.C. Jackson was the most important defensive rookie on the roster, and veteran Jason McCourty and youngsters Duke Dawson and Keion Crossen make this position an area of strength for New England. But with the understanding the Patriots are almost always looking forward (that ability to keep eyes down the road is one of the things that separates them from everyone else), taking a cornerback with one of their choices in the top 101 would be the sort of draft weekend curveball we’ve come to expect from New England. The other thing to keep in mind? In my experience, cornerbacks are like pitchers — you can never have too many of them, especially in the modern NFL. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few corners who might appeal to Bill Belichick come draft weekend.

POSSIBLE EARLY TARGETS

Julian Love, Notre Dame